NORTH: IT’S A DIRECTION

I believe this Edmonton Oilers team will be better than we’ve seen in some time, but the question surrounding ‘how much better?’ is extremely difficult to answer. Last year’s team was terrible and this year’s has to be better. Reasons? A few:

  • Connor McDavid
  • Cam Talbot
  • Todd McLellan
  • Andrej Sekera
  • The Hall cluster reaches its prime

oilers comparables 2014-15-16Those numbers would put Edmonton No. 10 in the Western Conference (No. 19 overall) if the final standings held year over year.

wc 1415I can see Edmonton getting past Arizona again, and Colorado seems as wobbly as last season. San Jose? I think they’ll be stronger this season and Dallas should be too. Vancouver and Calgary are both in the conversation—speak now or forever hold your peace—meaning the Edmonton Oilers (by my arcane ciphering) will finish ahead of (No. 14) Arizona, (No. 13) Colorado, (No. 12) Vancouver and (No. 11) Calgary. Thoughts?

THE HALL CLUSTER

hall clusterAlthough we’ll hear a lot about McDavid (with good reason) this is the heart of the team and a big reason why we should see a spike. Three quality offensive players (some of whom are emerging as complete forwards) along with a defensive pairing who may be developing as a pairing. Anton Lander is a nice bonus for the cluster.

One thing you should know about this cluster? A lot of hockey people are going to come up shy on giving them their due when the wins roll in.

  • Kelly Hrudey: “I think Connor McDavid is in a good spot simply because his coach will make him a great pro.  More than the people surrounding him in the dressing room.  It’s important the organization supports him in the proper ways because, like I said, what they have in the dressing room isn’t good.  Individually they’re great players but not a great team and they need to get on the right track.  They need to make a big U-Turn.” Source

The years of losing have impacted Hall’s reputation and there exists the general idea that youngsters in Edmonton run the show. Andrew Ference’s comments last winter seemed to confirm it, we’ll see how this rolls. I do believe we were maybe a year or less from MacT trading the heart of the cluster, believe that risk has been reduced mightily but we shall see.

MCDAVID CLUSTER

mcdavid clusterCrosby scored over 100 points and his Penguins didn’t improve much, suspect McDavid’s Oilers will spike more but a lot of it will have to do with other elements. This is the future though—the five names here represent the future in a very big way. My goodness that’s a lot of talent.

VETERAN CLUSTER

veteran clusterI think Craig MacTavish added some nice pieces (Pouliot, Fayne, Hendricks) but there’s some real problems here and one suspects Scott Howson may have to answer for Nikitin if the Russian doesn’t turn it around this season. I have Ference playing 28 games, maybe he surprises, but it’s also possible Eric Gryba becomes an everyday player.

THE GOALIES

goalies clusterIf you want to find out where the improvement is going to come from, run last year’s numbers alongside these projections. It WAS the goaltending, stupid. We’ll see how this goes, but I’m absolutely certain Peter Chiarelli won’t piss away a season watching the goalies burn in October and November. Good Christ what a bollocks last season.

UPSTARTS, ALSO-RANS AND NEVER WERES

also ransLots of wildly random in here, you could just as easily have seen Greg Chase and Kyle Kessy at the bottom. I do think we’re about to see a season-long audition among several wingers, represented here by Pakarinen, Miller, Pitlick and Klinkhammer. Hell, maybe Slepyshev beats them all to do the job, or Leon does. One more thing: McLellan will eventually have to decide between Davidson and Musil for “value deal” at the end of the defensive group. Edmonton has about $8 million tied up in that spot now, incredibly.

tomei33

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Alex Thomas, Oilers Rig. We get ready for the rookie camp by touching base with Alex on some of the more interesting storylines.
  • Brian King, NonStop Sports Picks. The Eskimos added about 800 pounds of O-Line yesterday and addressed a massive need. Huge item. We’ll talk to Brian about it.
  • Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report. NFL opening night! For God sakes weigh the balls!
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. Blue Jays, Brady, the first Boston album and McDavid changes everything.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!

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99 Responses to "NORTH: IT’S A DIRECTION"

  1. Snowman says:

    There are few things I’m looking forward to more than when the Oilers make Kelly Hrudey eat every damn thing he’s ever said about them.

    I hope they crush those damn Flames every single night from here to infinity and I hope Hrudey is at every one of those games. What a doofus.

  2. GCW_69 says:

    Buffalo got Franson on a nice deal. If Chiarelli didn’t offer a similar deal, I am disappointed in him.

    If Chiarelli did offer a similar deal, and Franson took Buffalo’s offer, his agent should be fired. Franson would be more likely to bump his value in Edmonton than Buffalo based on where the two teams rebuilds are at.

  3. dustrock says:

    Snowman: There are few things I’m looking forward to more than when the Oilers make Kelly Hrudey eat every damn thing he’s ever said about them. I hope they crush those damn Flames every single night from here to infinity and I hope Hrudey is at every one of those games. What a doofus.

    Yeah, Hrudey certainly is a blowhard at times, but I’m not sure comments like his and Ferraro’s, etc, aren’t completely justified. This organization was a clusterfuck from 2007 onwards.

    I’m not sure Hall and Eberle, et al are “bad” in the locker room, so much as management must have been TERRIFIED they would demand a trade at some point if not happy. So then your “let’s tank for ‘three years'” strategy would look even more foolish.

    You don’t get to be a two-time Memorial Cup MVP and #1 overall pick without thinking that winning is important. For a young man to be part of one of the worst organizational runs in professional sports history, and to be powerless to effect real change, must be extremely difficult and I think it’s probably to the young core’s credit there hasn’t been more obvious signs of stress/fractures.

  4. Aitch says:

    GCW_69,

    You’ve been drinking LT’s kool-aid too long. The team was never going to sign Franson. There is a limit to the number of d-men that is practical to have on your 40-man roster and the Oilers already have too many. You can say that Chiarelli could’ve easily traded or waived someone but it’s never that easy in real life. Plus, Franson has never made a good team better. He’s simply been an extra body on good teams and a regular player on bad ones. See the correlation?

  5. Woogie63 says:

    To my eye Calgary is going to be an improved team from 2014/15, they start with.

    2 NHL goalies and a prospect pushing for playing time

    Giordano is a true number 1 dman and is back from injury

    Frolik and Hamilton are excellent incremential upgrades

    Monahan continues to grow as a 1C

    Bennet is an exciting option

    Treliving is proving to be a good young GM, with Pascal, Conroy and Burke this is better than Jay and gang

  6. frjohnk says:

    Geez, this is a young team.

    Only 3 guys over 30.

    Just some of the Hall cluster are entering their prime. RNH, Klefbom and Id include Yak in this cluster as well ( he is off his ELC) are not anywhere near their prime but are only going to get better.

    I think the biggest issue down the road when the McDavid cluster is rolling is going to be the salary cap.

    Roster is starting to look good.

    Hard for us to NOT turn North this year. But I think I said that last year….and the year before….and the year…..

  7. leadfarmer says:

    Somehow, somewhere along the lines being ticked off at consistently losing has become a character flaw. I personally would be more upset at Hall if he was just happy collecting his paycheck then supposedly being frustrated with being a basement dweller.

  8. rickithebear says:

    14-15:
    from Dec 16 on post eakins:
    Talbot 29gm .8713 HS save% 7.5 HS/60
    Fasth13gm .8571 HS save% 9.5 HS/60
    Lunquist 43gm .8502 HS save% 6.4 HS/60
    Bachmann 6gm .8409 HS save% 8.0 HS/60
    Scrivens 35gm .7982 HS save% 6.5 HS/60

  9. leadfarmer says:

    There is just too many good teams ahead of us and the western conference arms race isn’t helping things any. This year’s team is going to be much better, but I don’t think we leapfrog too many teams. Even an 80 goal swing would only move us one place. Too many rookies and too many guys that play like rookies, and a defense with too many question marks.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    Woogie63,

    I for one liked it better when Calgary was incompetently managed like Vancouver is now.

  11. godot10 says:

    The team turned north when Krueger let Hall lead, and be the alpha dog he is (even though the systems sucked).

    The team turned right back into the ditch when MacT hired the dementor to put a jackboot to Hall’s throat.

  12. Woogie63 says:

    leadfarmer,

    Me too, but you have to respect, what they have done.

    Hartley’s “Always earned never given” has sunk in with entire organization.

  13. Dennis L says:

    GCW_69,

    Without moving at least one player, and really playing it safe with the ELC players with bonuses (i.e. keeping Draisaitl and Reinhart and Nurse (less so) in the minors for all or significant parts of the season) we don’t really have room, if we’re being prudent, to add Franson on that contract he took from Buffalo.

    Even if Chiarelli did offer it, he may not have been able to allow Franson to sign until he moved a piece… which he hasn’t. Franson may simply have wanted the security of a contract now, rather than later, or liked the depth chart, or the players, or the coach, or the city, or the proximity to Ontario, or the Eastern Conference, or, or, or…

    There are too many factors we don’t know to be “disappointed” in Chiarelli, or to dump on Franson’s agent.

  14. hags9k says:

    Dear little 6 lb 7 oz baby McJesus, don’t even know a word yet, please let this be the year we start talking about the Oilers cluster. A real hockey team, that plays hard for each other, top to bottom. No more sub-clusters and dressing room divisions.

    Cmon North.

  15. Ducey says:

    GCW_69:
    Buffalo got Franson on a nice deal.If Chiarelli didn’t offer a similar deal, I am disappointed in him.

    If Chiarelli did offer a similar deal, and Franson took Buffalo’s offer, his agent should be fired.Franson would be more likely to bump his value in Edmonton than Buffalo based on where the two teams rebuilds are at.

    You can be sure Chia made on offer to Franson.

    The fact they took Schultz thru the arbitration process and opened up a buyout all but confirms it. He was looking for an upgrade and likely would have bought out Ference or Nikitin.

    He likely made it clear to Frason’s agent in August that the offer was only open while he could still use the buyout. Franson didn’t bite in August. Maybe he came back recently but at this point it is really tough to make trades to clear space.

    As it turns out, we get to see what Schultz will do under a new coach and keeping Nikitin allows them to clear his cap space in the spring.

    I think the odds of one of Nikitin or Schultz being equal to, or better than Franson are about even anyway.

  16. rickithebear says:

    Woogie63: Treliving is proving to be a good young GM, with Pascal, Conroy and Burke this is better than Jay and gang

    S-sutter; F-feaster; B – Burke; T trealiving;

    Hudler – F
    Gaudreau – F
    Monohan – F
    Bouma – S
    Jones – F
    Colburne – F/B
    Backlund – S
    Jooris – F
    Raymond – T
    Granlund – F
    Stajan – S
    Bollig – T
    Frolik – T
    Bennett – T

    Giordano – S
    Brodie – S
    Hamilton – T/B Not PC
    Weidman – F
    Russel – F
    Smid – F/B
    Engeland – T

    Hiller – T
    Ramo – F
    Ortio – S

  17. PhrankLee says:

    Woogie63: To my eye Calgary is going to be an improved team from 2014/15, they start with.
    2 NHL goalies and a prospect pushing for playing time
    Giordano is a true number 1 dman and is back from injury
    Frolik and Hamilton are excellent incremential upgrades
    Monahan continues to grow as a 1C
    Bennet is an exciting option
    Treliving is proving to be a good young GM, with Pascal, Conroy and Burke this is better than Jay and gang

    Fuck the Flames.

    Fuck them, I say.

  18. John Chambers says:

    Ducey,

    I suspect your analysis is correct.

    Had Nikitin and his salary not been on the roster we probably sign Franson. Otherwise mgmt assessed that Schultz and Franson represented similar opportunities and similar risk and decided to spend this season evaluating Schultz’s upside under McLellan.

  19. Hammers says:

    Hopkins , Eberle and Schultz along with Nikitan, Ference and Purcell will be gone by the time were in new building .

  20. slopitch says:

    I’m not sure about the goaltending being better than average but Talbot and Nilsson both had great years last season. Surely Scrivens rebounds as well.

    Next year the Oilers lose Purcell and Nikitin for 9 million and likely a Ference buyout (1.75 million). Im not sure Hendricks has 2 more good years left but we can hope and see. We complain about not signing Franson but the eye should be on 2016-17. The cap and cluster are loaded for a cup run. And the new rink is just a coincidence.

    This year is about major improvement. If that doesn’t happen then one of the Hall cluster will be moved for a dman (which arguably should happen anyways). LT is projecting a GDIFF improvement of 91 goals. That’s substantial. If that happens, IMO you stick with the core and add pieces via cap space.

  21. Snowman says:

    dustrock,

    Good points you make. My main issue with comments like that from Hrudey is how in the hell should he know what’s going on in the locker room of a team he doesn’t cover?

    I’ve probably been in their locker room as many times as he has. Its just the perpetuation of a storyline by a person who is either too lazy or not smart enough to come up with his own ideas.

  22. Ducey says:

    Hammers:
    Hopkins , Eberle and Schultz along with Nikitan, Ference and Purcell will be gone by the time were in new building .

    The Nuge?

    No chance. At all.

  23. G Money says:

    Snowman: I’ve probably been in their locker room as many times as he has. Its just the perpetuation of a storyline by a person who is either too lazy or not smart enough to come up with his own ideas.

    That’s precisely it. It’s the sheer laziness of that whole line of thought that is aggravating.

    Is it possible it’s true? Sure. But we have no fucking clue whether it is or not, and sure as hell Hrudey doesn’t.

    Last year, the Oilers had the most balanced roster and the most experienced head coach they’ve had in three years.

    Let the ripeness and meaning and implications of those words sink in.

    It is the height of both laziness and moral turpitude, as well as a reflection of everything that’s wrong with the MSM today, that anyone finds it a worthwhile line of discussion to blame a 23 year old left winger for what’s been wrong with this franchise over the last three (or five or seven) years.

  24. G Money says:

    PhrankLee: Fuck the Flames.
    Fuck them, I say.

    I’ve done the math, and this statement is 100% correct.

  25. RexLibris says:

    Ahem – SHAMELESS PLUG!

    My look at the prospects for the Canucks *spits*, Jets *spits*, Flames *spitstwice* and Oilers *peace be upon them*.

    http://flamesnation.ca/2015/9/10/2015-penticton-prospects-at-a-glance

    Thank you, I know return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

  26. Магия 10 says:

    rickithebear: Hamilton – T/B Not PC1st assist Neely 2nd assist Sweeney

    fixed that for ya.

  27. RexLibris says:

    G Money: That’s precisely it.It’s the sheer laziness of that whole line of thought that is aggravating.

    Is it possible it’s true?Sure.But we have no fucking clue whether it is or not, and sure as hell Hrudey doesn’t.

    Last year, the Oilers had the most balanced roster and the most experienced head coach they’ve had in three years.

    Let the ripeness and meaning and implications of those words sink in.

    It is the height of both laziness and moral turpitude, as well as a reflection of everything that’s wrong with the MSM today, that anyone finds it a worthwhile line of discussion to blame a 23 year old left winger for what’s been wrong with this franchise over the last three (or five or seven) years.

    Well, when one considers that every other locker room in the NHL is run by classy and professional individuals who do not ever bicker, argue or show the slightest disrespect towards one another, then Hrudey is absolutely correct.

    The above paragraph was created using the same logical processes as some of Hrudey’s other statements, which is to say, minimal and speculative.

  28. PhrankLee says:

    G Money: PhrankLee: Fuck the Flames.
    Fuck them, I say.
    I’ve done the math, and this statement is 100% correct.

    It’s a truism.

    The Oilers own Fibonacci sequence.

    I never liked when they were poorly managed, either. I loved it when the best team other than us was just across the parking lot.

  29. Hall Awaits says:

    Kelly Hrudey needs to take the Flames coloured bandana off of his eyes.

  30. RexLibris says:

    PhrankLee: I loved it when the best team other than us was just across the parking lot.

    You mean the Eskimos?

  31. RexLibris says:

    Hall Awaits:
    Kelly Hrudey needs to take the Flames coloured bandana off of his eyes.

    Hrudey is typical of former players in that he credits “winners” wherever they may be.

    He was fully behind the Canucks when they were ascendant, then got on the Flames bandwagon pretty quickly.

    Maybe someone can research it if they have the time, but did Hrudey ever say anything negative about what Hartley did in Vancouver with the opening goon roster and resulting brawl?

    *edit – I found mention of Hrudey and Oake interviewing Hamhuis following that game, but haven’t found any video to determine what he might have said, if anything.

  32. Bank Shot says:

    Woogie63:
    leadfarmer,

    Me too, but you have to respect, what they have done.

    Hartley’s “Always earned never given” has sunk in with entire organization.

    So he turned the org. around with a catch phrase?

    I don’t see it being any different than Eakin’s “Chop Wood, Carry Water”

    Every NHL coach uses the same playbook. Flames just got really lucky last year.

    The LA Kings had to go 3-15 in OT/Shootouts for the Flames to sneak into the playoffs.
    We don’t even need to get started on all the bounces the Flames got as a team.

    On to the Oilers fortunes:

    I think a 90 goal swing is somewhat unrealistic for the Oilers unless they get the kind of luck Calgary did last year.

    How many teams have had a 90 goal swing to the positive year over year since the lockout? Maybe 5?

    -20 would be a massive leap forward for this team and that would still put them around 25th place overall. Think about that for a minute.

    I’m wishing for horseshoes, because another year out of the playoffs before X-mas will be hard to take even with McJesus.

  33. GCW_69 says:

    Dennis L:
    GCW_69,

    Without moving at least one player, and really playing it safe with the ELC players with bonuses (i.e. keeping Draisaitl and Reinhart and Nurse (less so) in the minors for all or significant parts of the season) we don’t really have room, if we’re being prudent, to add Franson on that contract he took from Buffalo.

    Even if Chiarelli did offer it, he may not have been able to allow Franson to sign until he moved a piece… which he hasn’t. Franson may simply have wanted the security of a contract now, rather than later, or liked the depth chart, or the players, or the coach, or the city, or the proximity to Ontario, or the Eastern Conference, or, or, or…

    There are too many factors we don’t know to be “disappointed” in Chiarelli, or to dump on Franson’s agent.

    I view keeping Draisaitl, Nurse and Reinhart in the minors as a good thing. The Oilers, according to general manager, have over $2.8m in cap space and add another $865k in space if they move Reinhart to the minors, so Franson could be squeezed in without moving a player.

    Buffalo, for the next couple of years, is where careers will go to die. If their respective was a reasonable competing offer on the table and his agent said didn’t push him hard on that, then he should be fired.

  34. rickithebear says:

    Woogie63: Me too, but you have to respect, what they have done.

    Team – CA/60 – SCA/60 – HSCA/60
    Cgy – 62.4 – 29.5 – 11.7
    EDM – 56.7 – 29.1 – 12.6

    LCS avg .9750
    MCS avg .9250
    Hcs avg .8330

    Scrivens 57gm
    LCS 11.7/60 .9536 .54 EVG/60 with talbots .9668 becomes .39 EVGA/60
    MCS 8.7/60 .9110 .77 EVG/60 with talbots .9403 becomes .52 EVG/60
    HCS 8.1/60 .8101 1.54 EVG/60 with talbots .8617 becomes 1.12 EVG/60
    TCS 28.5 —– 2.85 EVG/60 —> talbots — 2.03 EVGA/60

    Fasth 26gm
    LCS 13.6 .9551 .61EVG/60
    MCS 7.3 .8561 1.05 EVG/60
    HCS 9.5 .8412 1.51 EVG/60
    TCS 30.4 —— 3.17 EVGA/60

    Hiller 52gm
    LCS 13.2 .9669 .44 EVG/60
    MCS 8.2 .9371 .52 EVG/60
    HCS 8.2 .8531 1.20 EVG/60
    TCS 29.6 —- 2.16 EVG/60

    Ramo 34gm
    LCS 12.5 .9696 .38 EVG/60
    MCS 7.6 .9274 .55 EVG/60
    HCS 9.5 .8438 1.48 EVGA/60
    TCS 29.6 —– 2.41 EVG/60

    Talbot 36gm
    LCS 15.0 .9668 .50 EVG/60
    MCS 7.1 .9403 .42 EVG/60
    HCS 9.0 .8617 1.24 EVG/60
    TCS 31.1 —— 2.16 EVG/60

    Lundquist 46gm
    LCS 14.3 .9721 .43 EVG/60
    MCS 7.3 .9384 .45 EVG/60
    HCS 6.8 .8320 1.14 EVG/60
    TCS 28.4 —— 2.02 EVG/60

    We need to reduce the attack in the box.
    And
    upper slot shots.

  35. Hammers says:

    Ducey: The Nuge?

    No chance. At all.

    Who has most value , RNH and Ebs . We need more D . Leon moves to second C .Lander 3 Rd .

  36. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Hammers: Who has most value , RNH and Ebs . We need more D . Leon moves to second C .Lander 3 Rd .

    Why not Hall for this guy?

  37. Rocknrolla says:

    One thing to remember is if we improve that much we will no doubt win more games against Calgary and Arizona this year. These are 4 point games, as we win, others lose points, so something to consider when guessing standings. Also, if 4 go from pacific division, could we fight for that 4th spot after Anaheim, LA, Calgary/Sanjose?

    Could get interesting considering there were 20 points gone just with Calgary and Arizona last year…

  38. Jordan says:

    I’m really excited about the return of the battle of Alberta.

    I’m happy that the Oilers are looking to turn north and will have to go through calgary to get there.

    I’m hopeful that we can have meaningful hockey games between both teams for a good long time now. I hope the Oilers win most of them, but as long as it’s good hard hockey. That’s what I want.

    Victory is so much more glorious when the opponent is worthy.

  39. leadfarmer says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel,

    I can’t believe its taken this long for someone to suggest that 🙂

  40. verdad2.0 says:

    Kudos to you Lowetide for realism.
    The Oilers are likely no better than last year notwithstanding MacDavid.
    It all comes back to a horrific defense. Coupled with a management that still insists on the NSF black hole.
    It is also a management that cannot come to terms that the likes of Hall and Eberle need to be moved to acquire a defense that this team can actually compete with.
    Most on here know this is the only real option if the Oilers ever want to improve. Otherwise, we will simply languish.
    We know the scenario – a fundamental unwillingness to outright give the season to Reinhart and Nurse to learn how to play at the NHL level. Endless time wasted with the NSF black hole.
    Riding out the years of Hall & Eberle to what purpose?
    Some on this board dismiss the OEL option as unattainable. But all logic suggests that until a genuine #1 defenseman is acquired then this deal has no real improvement , regardless of how skilled some of its forward group are.
    What Chiarelli has to do is make the “bold move” asap that he failed to do this past summer.
    Fixing the defense after getting MacDavid is all that should have mattered. Not listening to those who created this mess on defense.
    Ignoring Franson and keeping Schultz was simply a horrible mistake by Chiarelli. Did he not look any video of Schultz from last year. He cannot play defense. It will never happen.
    For all the commentary in the OIlers’ blogosphere, there is only one issue – fix the defense asap, before a year of MacDavid is wasted. At the core of that is coming to terms that apart from keeping MacDavid no Oiler assets is so valuable to not offer it up to fix this issue.
    No one can dispute that the OIlers are two NHL defensemen shy of being competitive , No one can dispute that unitl a genuine #1 defenseman is acquired hopes of the playoffs are a pipe dream.
    Last point, if the Oilers start the season with the NSF in the line-up, who would not predict that the Oilers go 0 for 4 in the their opening games. I can’t wait for the panic and dread after that home loss to the Flames in game 4. I cringe that the rationalizations and distortions that will come out of Chiarelli as he tries to justify his failures of this past summer.
    Who can argue this is not the base case projection for the start of the season?
    Its incredibly sad to see teams with low talent forwards like Backes , Fisher and Monahan beat the Oilers consistently because of how they are organized around defense and goaltendin.

  41. Pajamah says:

    verdad2.0,

    Fucking hell.

    Do you have this garbage copy and pasted?

    And why the terrible formatting. Your take is bad enough.

    Edit: I suppose its not fair game to shit on someones post without giving my own opinion on the matter.

    The Oilers have enough high end D prospects that they don’t need to sell the farm for Maloney’s poster boy. A Hamilton type would have been enough, as would not cutting off a Petry to spite your Sekera.

  42. B S says:

    RexLibris,

    Great article Rex, and you’re a brave man for reading the comments section.

    “when will you accept that [insert memorial cup MVP’s name here] is a bust?” is not a question I can read without exploding. Keep trying to inform the unwashed masses.

  43. PhrankLee says:

    verdad2.0: Who can argue this is not the base case projection for the start of the season?

    Pretty much anyone who actually follows hockey.

    And those of us who do lean out to to argue usually back it up with more than vitriol.

    Flames? Yeah, think it’s been mentioned and proofread a few times..

    Franson is a great fit for the Flames. Happy he was passed over by the Oilers.

    Fuck the Flames.

  44. Drew says:

    verdad2.0:

    Fixing the defense after getting MacDavid is all that should have mattered. Not listening to those who created this mess on defense.
    Ignoring Franson and keeping Schultz was simply a horrible mistake by Chiarelli. Did he not look any video of Schultz from last year. He cannot play defense. It will never happen.
    For all the commentary in the OIlers’ blogosphere, there is only one issue – fix the defense asap, before a year of MacDavid is wasted.At the core of that is coming to terms that apart from keeping MacDavid no Oiler assets is so valuable to not offer it up to fix this issue.
    No one can dispute that the OIlers are two NHL defensemen shy of being competitive , No one can dispute that unitl a genuine #1 defenseman is acquired hopes of the playoffs are a pipe dream.
    Last point, if the Oilers start the season with the NSF in the line-up, who would not predict that the Oilers go 0 for 4 in the their opening games.I can’t wait for the panic and dread after that home loss to the Flames in game 4.I cringe that the rationalizations and distortions that will come out of Chiarelli as he tries to justify his failures of this past summer.
    Who can argue this is not the base case projection for the start of the season?
    Its incredibly sad to see teams with low talent forwards like Backes , Fisher and Monahan beat the Oilers consistently because ofhow they areorganized around defense and goaltendin.

    You are incorrect… the goal tending was worse.

    oh and i already traded everyone for Weber and Price.

  45. godot10 says:

    The way to approach the season is not to look at the mountain that has to be climbed, but to take it a step at a time. One game at a time.

    Hang with the pack. Keep the goal in the present or near present. Contemplating the finish line is the wrong focus.

  46. Oil2Oilers says:

    As LT has long championed the Oilers are famous for making decisions that are not based on winning.

    No where was this more obvious than the decisions made on Defense last year. I am hoping for clearer thinking this year. We have all been projecting D pairs based on the legion of overpriced old #8 Dmen on the roster. If we ignor the payroll and use the GM’s new men as the basis the pairs may look like this;

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Gyrba
    Reinhart-Schultz

    This has Klefbom no longer baby sitting Schultz and playing tougher minutes. Reinhart would not get a vetran partner but would get the butter soft minutes befitting a Rookie.

  47. Drew says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    As LT has long championed the Oilers are famous for making decisions that are not based on winning.

    No where was this more obvious that the decisions made on Defense last year. I am hoping for clearer thinking this year. We have all been projecting D pairs based on the legion of overpriced old #8 Dmen on the roster. If we ignor the payroll and use the GM’s new men as the basis the pairs may look like this;

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Gyrba
    Reinhart-Schultz

    This has Klefbom no longer baby sitting Schultz and playing tougher minutes. Reinhart would not get a vetran partner but would get the butter soft minutes befitting a Rookie.

    this has a reasonable look to it…

  48. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Pajamah: as would not cutting off a Petry to spite your Sekera.

    That’s good.

    You should also thank VD2 for starting to include the odd carriage return – that’s an improvement. Up next, double spacing!

  49. Tokyo Oil says:

    godot10,

    Amen.

    Oil Country is going to have their faith restored this year with McLellan coaching the team. Krueger’s skill is leadership through positive motivation and his short time as coach saw the team challenging for the playoffs down to the last month. Solely against the Western conference teams too. I like MacT but man was that a colossal F-up when he dissed Krueger for Eakins. And the way he did it was the opposite of being professional – by Skype.

    The Oil have more skilled players than most other teams in the league and with McLellan behind the bench and Chiarelli as GM, good times are on the horizon. I’ve been reading Lowetide’s posts all summer and for the most part he has tried to temper the fans expectations for this year. I understand why – the last 3 years have been an absolute disgrace, a gong show, an embarrassment to the knowledgeable fans of Edmonton for the dismal results achieved.

    Eakins is long gone, we saw how the team started to smile and have fun playing under Nelson, producing slightly better results in the W-L column while looking like a team that finally seemed willing to commit to a game plan and to sticking up for each other.

    The coaching and management in Edmonton has been the primary reason for our misery these last few years. With the new leadership behind the bench and in the front office our expectations should not be tempered. Gretzky made the playoffs in his first year in the NHL and I expect that McDavid will do the same.

    One last run at Rexall/SkyReach/Northlands would be pretty special.

  50. Tapdog says:

    hags9k,

    Are you sure you were looking at the scale correctly???/
    Shouldn’t that read 9 lb 7 oz baby McJesus ;))

  51. Ducey says:

    Hammers: Who has most value , RNH and Ebs . We need more D . Leon moves to second C .Lander 3 Rd .

    Terrific.

    You then have an 18/ 19 year old #1 C (have we seen how that movie turns out for the first 3 years enough times?), a 19/20 year old #2 C, and a guy who has played 1/2 of one good season as your top 3 C’s.

    Then when those guys finally start to hit their prime we can trade them for the next shiny prospect coming down the pipe.

  52. Ducey says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel: That’s good.

    You should also thank VD2 for starting to include the odd carriage return – that’s an improvement. Up next, double spacing!

    Maybe at some point: contemplation

  53. Jaxon says:

    Based on age clusters I find it interesting that Nuge and Yak were born less than 6 months apart and Yak has played 3 seasons already, yet they are in different clusters. Yak is also less than 4 months younger than Klefbom. Yakupov has only played 66 games less than Nugent-Hopkins and 115 games more than Klefbom. Yakupov should be included in the first cluster.

    I think before the middle of next season, LaLeggia will be included in that 1st cluster as well. His offensive abilities will be too good to keep off the NHL roster. He is the next Goligoski, Liles, Shattenkirk type player.

    I predict by next season, the McDavid cluster (he being the youngest of the cluster) will include Slepyshev, Yakimov (4LW?) and maybe even Bukarts (4RW) who had the best NHLE last season among the RW hopefuls of Pitlick, Pakarinen, Platzer and Chase and has enough of a two-way physical game to make it work in the pros.

  54. Armchair GM says:

    Obviously Kelly Hrudey wasn’t watching what Hall and Eberle could do when surrounded with excellent players, defenders who can actually defend, goalies who can stop a puck and a coach who is experienced, capable, organized and able to communicate properly with the team. What should be obvious to everyone is that Hall and Eberle HATE losing. They are hyper-competitive personality types (as are most elite athletes). “What they have in the dressing room isn’t good.” should be expected in an organization that has lost as many games as the Oilers. Do any of us really want Hrudey to say, “Sure they lose a lot of games but they have a great dressing room?” Of what use would that be? Who wants a team of happy congenial losers?

    If I’m not mistaken, the Glory Oilers had various issues in the dressing room. Winning (and a healthy fear of Mark Messier) has a way of minimizing the internal conflicts. Once this latest version of the Oilers start winning it will be amazing how much better reports of the dressing room will be.

  55. rickithebear says:

    Record – GF – GA
    Eakins
    31gm 7-19-5 65 – 103 2.10 GF/gm 3.32 GA/gm
    without Hall OR without RNH
    6gm 2-4-1 15 – 25 2.50 GF/gm 4.17 GA/gm
    With Hall and RNH
    25gm 5-15-4 50 GF 78 GA 2.00 GF/gm 3.12 GA/gm

    macT
    5gm 0-3-2 11 – 20 2.20 GF/gm 4.00 GA/60

    Nelson
    46gm 17-22-7 117 – 153 2.54 GF/gm 3.33 GA/60
    Witout hallor Without RNH
    27gm 7-16-4 53 – 92 1.96 GF/gm 3.41 GA/gm
    With Hall and RNH
    19gm 10-6-3 64 – 61 3.37 GF/gm 3.21 GA/gm

    we really need to improve or GA/gm

    I hope the better HCS d and #1 HCS goalie make a difference.

  56. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Interesting comments on Slepy from ON:

    RickCarriere on Slepyshev…

    “He has been in town a few days skating with the veterans at the Royal Glenora. He is incredibly fit. He’s very strong, he has a powerful stride, he makes plays at high speed, has good hands and he can shoot the puck very well. He is a solid American Hockey League player now, but he’d be a guy you would say is a solid NHL prospect when you watch him play. His best asset is he can make plays with high tempo. He thinks the game well and things happen continuously with him.

    “Not every player can develop hockey sense. A lot of guys can make a play when there is no pressure. A lot of guys can skate very well, until they get the puck. It is a real skill to do it all in combination and do it well, Slepyshev can.”

  57. G Money says:

    I’ve posted this a few times, but it’s still a good reminder.

    These were the Edmonton Oilers defensive ice time leaders in Game #1 last year (in descending order):

    Schultz
    Hunt – AYFKM?
    Nikitin – AYFKM?
    Fayne – actually, his partnership with Nikitin was pretty successful
    Petry – fast ship stuck in dock
    Ference – anchor for said ship

    The combination of bad roster decisions (e.g. Hunt over Marincin) and bad ice time decisions (Petry third pairing?) made that defense a level of putrid that is hard to fathom.

    Yet the team overall looked competent defensively the first 10 or 20 games – an effort sewered by horrendous goaltending (particularly the soft goals at the worst times) – before giving up the ghost and backsliding into oblivion.

    This years opening night D roster by ice time will likely look something like this:

    Sekera
    Klefbom
    Schultz
    Fayne
    one of Nikitin, Ference, Reinhart, Nurse
    Gryba

    (Note: those aren’t partnerships, just a reflection of versatility. I think Sekera-Fayne and Klef-Schultz make sense, but we’ll see more of Sekera and Klefbom in all situations than we will of their partners).

    In five of those six spots, I expect there to be an upgrade on the ice, in some cases substantial, relative to last year:

    1 Sekera > > Schultz last year
    2 Klefbom > > > > Hunt
    3 Schultz this year > Nikitin last year
    4 Fayne this year > Fayne last year (it’s a partner thing)
    5 Whoever wins the spot this year – I’ll guess Nikitin < Petry … (but also Nikitin this year > Nikitin last year)
    6 Gryba > Ference

    I think overall the team is also likely to play better at both ends of the rink than they did to start the season last year. That’s a coaching thing and a confidence thing.

    I think Hall and Ebs’ experience with TMc (and those shiny gold medals around their necks) might make a bigger difference than we think. Imagine two ridiculously talented guys like that raving about TMc to their teammates. With the bling to back it up.

    I get that players might have had their doubts about Eakins and MacT, and that tiny bit of doubt can play out in insidious ways, on and off the ice. The players have no such excuses with Chia and TMc. I don’t buy the “blame the young players” bullshit we’ve seen over the last few years. But on the other hand … if as a player, you can’t buy in to what TMc is coaching this year, you need to be gone.

    This team is not a finished product – we need to see Nurse and Reinhart in NHL action and then Chia needs to figure out what he really needs to finish off the D – nor is it likely a playoff bound team. But I do expect it to be a markedly better team each and every night than what we saw last year.

    And I believe that would have been true even if we didn’t have the best player in a generation joining the team at 2C.

    ALL HAIL MCDAVID!

    Also: Fuck the Flames. Fuck ’em.

  58. RexLibris says:

    B S:
    RexLibris,

    Great article Rex, and you’re a brave man for reading the comments section.

    “when will you accept that [insert memorial cup MVP’s name here] is a bust?” is not a question I can read without exploding. Keep trying to inform the unwashed masses.

    Ha, thanks.

    I usually leave that stuff to sort itself out. If nothing happens or I change my mind I’ll engage politely to ask them to justify their statement.

    Give them a chance to make a reasonable argument or undermine themselves with their own words.

  59. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:


    Amalie Benjamin Verified account
    ‏@AmalieBenjamin

    The three first round picks all failed the conditioning test: Senyshyn, DeBrusk, Zboril.

    Word on the interwebz is that the Bruins set body fat threshold at 10%. Roberts targets a 10 – 12 percent range, according to that article about McD training with him.

  60. Pouzar says:

    G Money: Schultz
    Hunt – AYFKM?
    Nikitin – AYFKM?
    Fayne – actually, his partnership with Nikitin was pretty successful
    Petry – fast ship stuck in dock
    Ference – anchor for said ship

    That is so mindnumbingly bad there are no words. They got 1 right. Sweet Jezzuz.

  61. russ99 says:

    GCW_69:
    Buffalo got Franson on a nice deal.If Chiarelli didn’t offer a similar deal, I am disappointed in him.

    This is why Chia didn’t sign Franson:

    2016-17 Salary Cap Amounts:

    Franson – $3.3M
    Nikitin – $1.5M (buyout)
    ———————
    Amount of cap room for a defenseman vastly better than Franson next year: $4.8M

    And more room if we dump Ference or trade Schultz.

  62. Pouzar says:

    Boyes to Leafs on PTO.

    F^ck.

  63. pocession charge says:

    RexLibris:
    Ahem – SHAMELESS PLUG!

    My look at the prospects for the Canucks *spits*, Jets *spits*, Flames *spitstwice* and Oilers *peace be upon them*.

    http://flamesnation.ca/2015/9/10/2015-penticton-prospects-at-a-glance

    Thank you, I know return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

    Thanks for the link Rex. Always nice to know what the enemy is doing.

    Btw, Jared McCann plays for the Soo Greyhounds, not Erie as you have listed.

    And Morgan Klimchuk is 6 feet like Andrew Ference is 5’11” — both wearing 2 inch lifts. Funny enough, I am a distant relative of Morgan Klimchuk and just saw him at a wedding. My first comment to the family: “He better be fast if he wants to play in the NHL with that size”. Apparently he’s got decent hands and vision. Our mutual cousin did not appreciate it when I told him that Darnell Nurse would literally pulverize him in the corner. Oh well.

  64. RexLibris says:

    pocession charge,

    Thanks for the info, apparently I made a boatload of mistake in the article, citing Kylington as AHL-ready rather than CHL bound.

    Klimchuk is described as a fast skater, good hands and a high energy level. I’m not sure he makes it as more than a depth winger, but he has things that observers often cite. Kind of reminds me of Pitlick in a way, although without the injuries.

  65. SwedishPoster says:

    RexLibris:
    pocession charge,

    Thanks for the info, apparently I made a boatload of mistake in the article, citing Kylington as AHL-ready rather than CHL bound.

    Klimchuk is described as a fast skater, good hands and a high energy level. I’m not sure he makes it as more than a depth winger, but he has things that observers often cite. Kind of reminds me of Pitlick in a way, although without the injuries.

    Will Calgary really send Kylington to the CHL? To me that’s incredibly stupid, he needs to learn how to defend against grown ups, not living off his insane skating which he can do against junior players. Here’s to hoping Calgary fucks it up but from what I’ve heard it’s more likely he plays in the AHL.

  66. Hammers says:

    Ducey: Terrific.

    You then have an 18/ 19 year old #1 C (have we seen how that movie turns out for the first 3 years enough times?), a 19/20 year old #2 C, and a guy who has played 1/2 of one good season as your top 3 C’s.

    Then when those guys finally start to hit their prime we can trade them for the next shiny prospect coming down the pipe.

    So you think Nuge is 1 St line centre for 3 years ? Not a chance .

  67. Lowetide says:

    Rex: I haven’t read it (writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate) but kudos to you for even attempting it. VERY difficult to suss out four teams worth of prospects/invites, wouldn’t even try it.

    By the by, anyone going to the Penticton camp AND comfortable coming on the radio with me? I’m actually quite nice and won’t bite. 🙂

  68. LoDog says:

    RexLibris:
    pocession charge,

    Thanks for the info, apparently I made a boatload of mistake in the article, citing Kylington as AHL-ready rather than CHL bound.

    Klimchuk is described as a fast skater, good hands and a high energy level. I’m not sure he makes it as more than a depth winger, but he has things that observers often cite. Kind of reminds me of Pitlick in a way, although without the injuries.

    Have the flames stated something about CHL? He is eligible for the AHL is he not?

  69. RexLibris says:

    SwedishPoster: Will Calgary really send Kylington to the CHL? To me that’s incredibly stupid, he needs to learn how to defend against grown ups, not living off his insane skating which he can do against junior players. Here’s to hoping Calgary fucks it up but from what I’ve heard it’s more likely he plays in the AHL.

    He’s committed to the WHL, though I’m not sure what happens to him as a European player should he not make the Flames. If he can skip over the CHL and go straight to the AHL then he’ll likely progress quickly. Depends on how the CHL and AHL interpret his contract status.

  70. Магия 10 says:

    Lowetide: writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate

    If LT’s long waited 3 for 1 ever happens ya just know Griff + Yak will be in it.

  71. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Rex: I haven’t read it (writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate) but kudos to you for even attempting it. VERY difficult to suss out four teams worth of prospects/invites, wouldn’t even try it.

    By the by, anyone going to the Penticton camp AND comfortable coming on the radio with me? I’m actually quite nice and won’t bite.

    Thanks, I enjoyed doing it.

    My point in trying it is to make Flames fans aware that they aren’t the only ones with shiny toys and that there are other teams out there who may *gasp* have even better prospects.

    The “we’ve got this rebuild in the bag” attitude is going to be an interesting one to watch.

    My RE series will come out closer to training camp and it is going to raise the ire of some fans there.

    Here’s something to think about: the Flames had the 7th worst possession numbers in 12/13, 4th worst in 13/14, and 3rd worst in 14/15. Two of those years they finished 25th and 27th overall, the third year (last year) they beat those odds.

    Now, what would a reasonable person suggest for a team trending in the wrong direction analytically this following season?

  72. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    RexLibris:
    Just going to leave this here and see if it starts anything: http://flamesnation.ca/2015/9/10/chris-johnston-flames-young-core-better-positioned-than-oilers-for-future-success

    Hooooooooooo, wat?

    FlamesNation: Hey Chris, if you had to choose between Edmonton’s young core of players or Calgary’s, which would you pick and why?

    Chris Johnston: If I could choose today I’d take Calgary’s. I think that we’ve seen more out of those players in terms of the team producing.

    I think I ask which group contains the most McDavids. Does Calgary have two McDavids? If not, then I choose the one with the single McDavid even if it means I only get that one McDavid and no one else.

    My reasoning: Woooooooooooooooot!

    edit: Also, if people could please stop quoting Verdad posts, that would be delightful. I have a browser script that hides his posts so that I don’t have to read them (same can be applied to any other user who tends to derail the discussion), but quoting forces his drivel to appear on my screen regardless.

  73. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Rex: I haven’t read it (writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate) but kudos to you for even attempting it. VERY difficult to suss out four teams worth of prospects/invites, wouldn’t even try it.

    By the by, anyone going to the Penticton camp AND comfortable coming on the radio with me? I’m actually quite nice and won’t bite.

    NYC baby!

  74. pocession charge says:

    TheGreatMcMutato: Hooooooooooo, wat?

    I think I ask which group contains the most McDavids. Does Calgary have two McDavids? If not, then I choose the one with the single McDavid even if it means I only get that one McDavid and no one else.

    My reasoning: Woooooooooooooooot!

    edit: Also, if people could please stop quoting Verdad posts, that would be delightful. I have a browser script that hides his posts so that I don’t have to read them (same can be applied to any other user who tends to derail the discussion), but quoting forces his drivel to appear on my screen regardless.

    So you are saying that you hate OEL?

  75. Mr. D. says:

    One of our serious problems is players goals against/60.
    This is why Gryba was brought in. I don’t see him sitting at all. We addressed some problems and I can’t see him sitting. We have supposed puck mover D all over the place. In my books a good first pass (no stat for this) is critical. DEFENCE dangling out of their own end looks pretty but the results can lead to disastrous odd man rushes against. I like the safe play to forwards that support the D and skate it out as a last resort. I also like the D supporting the play up the ice.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Магия 10: If LT’s long waited 3 for 1 ever happens ya just know Griff + Yak will be in it.

    you’ll hate my five-part “Griffin Reinhart should play his entire entry-level deal in the ECHL” series.

  77. SwedishPoster says:

    RexLibris,

    Nylander was committed as well but since he played in Europe when drafted he could go straight to the AHL.

  78. Regretzky says:

    I’ve read many discussions this summer on why the Oilers should see a spike in 2015/16. Perhaps a good exercise at this point would be to examine which of the elements that made them so bad in recent years have been addressed by management vs. the ones that yet linger around the organization. What issues remain that will keep us in the bottom half of the leagues standings as per Lowetides prediction above?

  79. Lowetide says:

    Regretzky:
    I’ve read many discussions this summer on why the Oilers should see a spike in 2015/16. Perhaps a good exercise at this point would be to examine which of the elements that made them so bad in recent years have been addressed by management vs. the ones that yet linger around the organization. What issues remain that will keep us in the bottom half of the leagues standings as per Lowetides prediction above?

    1. MacT’s contracts
    2. Lack of another top 4D to go with Sekera, Fayne and Klefbom
    3. possible issues in goal
    4. PK problems may exist
    5. The errors of youth

  80. Drew says:

    Mr. D.:
    One of our serious problems is players goals against/60.
    This is why Gryba was brought in. I don’t see him sitting at all. We addressed some problems and I can’t see him sitting. We have supposed puck mover D all over the place. In my books a good first pass (no stat for this) is critical. DEFENCE dangling out of their own end looks pretty but the results can lead to disastrous odd man rushes against. I like the safe play to forwards that support the D and skate it out as a last resort. I also like the D supporting the play up the ice.

    I think Gryba will see a little more ice time, depending on situations and opponents (is that the same?). I expect him to get a little more play when the opponent is a bigger cycling team. I expect him to fill some enforcement duties as he will be on the ice more than Gazdic (thank goodness).

  81. Магия 10 says:

    Lowetide: you’ll hate my five-part “Griffin Reinhart should play his entire entry-level deal in the ECHL” series.

    Yay more clickbait pr0n. Then you can get back to the classic series on why a 52% chance is objectively less valuable than 24% +12%.

    Cuz it’s all gonna be moot by next season when Nurse and Reinhart are high in everyone’s projected lineup. We wait.

  82. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    Regretzky:
    I’ve read many discussions this summer on why the Oilers should see a spike in 2015/16. Perhaps a good exercise at this point would be to examine which of the elements that made them so bad in recent years have been addressed by management vs. the ones that yet linger around the organization. What issues remain that will keep us in the bottom half of the leagues standings as per Lowetides prediction above?

    Regarding improvements:

    1) AllRings making no decisions
    2) WearsGlasses making no decisions
    3) MakesSense hired as GM
    4) LegoHair hired as experienced HC

    Regarding lingering issues, HatesSmid covered most of those =)

  83. G Money says:

    TheGreatMcMutato,

    In that theme I guess you could revise #4 to Experienced successful HC LegoHair replaces inexperienced unsuccessful coach ChopsWood.

    Though in these weird and horrawful pre-election days, I kind of prefer NiceHairThough to ChopsWood or CarriesWater.

  84. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    G Money,

    Love it.

    The only downside would be the inevitable confusion resulting from our trading away of many high picks at this year’s draft, the result of which was still a NiceBearThough.

  85. Lowetide says:

    Магия 10: Yay more clickbait pr0n. Then you can get back to the classic series on why a 52% chance is objectively less valuable than 24% +12%.

    Cuz it’s all gonna be moot by next season when Nurse and Reinhart are high in everyone’s projected lineup. We wait.

    No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

  86. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: you’ll hate my five-part “Griffin Reinhart should play his entire entry-level deal in the ECHL” series.

    Will that include a slideshow?

  87. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

    One of the things I’ve argued in my Oilers RE is that the Oilers could start the season with serious problems at Ds 2 through 5 and end the season having solved one or all of those spots internally, depending on development.

    I expect some pushback from the FN crowd on that front. 🙂

  88. SwedishPoster says:

    Whenever I see Darnell Nurse in his beard I think he’s going to start talking early 70s politics. With Leon it’s more late 90s Balkans politics. Greg Chase instead looks like Yaks half-brother. And Kyle Platzer looks like RNHs little brother. That’s all the opinions for today from the Entertainemnt Channels shallow and judgemental crew.

  89. V. Chilly says:

    I think 10th is realistic but I see the Flames finishing ahead of the Oilers with one of Dallas or San Jose dropping. I think I’m the only person that doesn’t like what the Stars did. They basically replaced their old goalie who they were paying too much for too long with an old goalie they are paying too much for, then they went and got the Hawks spare parts. Seguin and Benn are star players but Spezza and Sharp are running out of gas, and at this point in his career Oduya is barely an upgrade over Trevor Daley. The Stars didn’t miss the playoffs because they couldn’t score last year, they missed because they couldn’t keep the puck out of their net and they didn’t do much to fix that. As for the Sharks, I’ll believe Martin Jones is an NHL starter when I see it, I like Joel Ward but he’s a complimentary player and it’s not the Sharks’ complimentary players that are the problem, and Peter DeBoer has had exactly one good season as a NHL coach. So I think both of those teams are vulnerable to a drop this year.

  90. book¡je says:

    I’ve worked for people who consistently made dumb decisions that made my life much harder and that significantly hurt their own interests. I’ve worked in at least one situation where the whole organizational hierarchy was essentially like that but the company was an established part of a larger industrial chain so it continued to survive.

    In those situations, I stopped fighting against their ineptitude and I did what they told me without a lot of enthusiasm. I wasn’t building a career at the time and was just paying the bills as a student, so I really didn’t care about the future of the organizations and I had no power to impact them anyway.

    I imagine that this is exactly how Hall, Eberle, etc. have felt about the Oilers. Really, how optimistic and individually motivated can you be to play your best and ‘be a good team player’ when the organization consistently makes stupid moves. If you are inherently selfish, you could do so for your own good in terms of your next contract. However, if you are a real team player who deeply wants to win, it would be disheartening.

    Honestly, the organization has never given the young cluster the chance to succeed. I think they have now, so lets see what happens.

  91. Jordan says:

    Lowetide: No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

    I see what you did there.

    Did the unicorn-riding, rainbow-flatulating leprechaun who informed you of the pending signing of Brent “3 Rings” Seabrook happen to tell you about his contract details?

  92. Regretzky says:

    Lowetide,

    If 3, 4, & 5 can be coached out of the equation where do they finish?

  93. Магия 10 says:

    Jordan: I see what you did there.

    Did the unicorn-riding, rainbow-flatulating leprechaun who informed you of the pending signing of Brent “3 Rings” Seabrook happen to tell you about his contract details?

    Lowetide: No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

    …and thrilled that they waited to sign Seabrook in the UFA market rather than giving up Yak to rent him.

  94. commonfan14 says:

    Critical Mass

    noun
    1. Physics. the amount of a given fissionable material necessary to sustain a chain reaction at a constant rate.
    2. an amount necessary or sufficient to have a significant effect or to achieve a result:

    To be determined soon.

  95. FTO says:

    I’m gonna be heading to Penticton here with the Oilers Now group, anyone else gonna be there?

  96. Ice Sage says:

    Turning North Indeed.

    It looks like a long way to the promised land of the playoffs but it seems, every year, one or two ‘locks’ for the playoffs fall out of contention (see LA, 2015). Vancouver is an easy pick but who else could implode then realize, too late, that they gotta get their shite together? Minnesota, Dallas, Calgary are vulnerable and maybe, just maybe, the Kane fiasco, talent leaching and years of long springs catch up to Chicago.

    This summer has been agonizing…

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